Granny has too much to do. She has her Spanish homework; she has a kitchen full of dirty dishes after a lunch for friends from England. (One she had not seen for nearly fifty years, since both of them were children. This startling kind of encounter may happen as you get old and older.) She has the prospect of nine people coming for a course in Natural History and 13 people to feed each night for a week; she and Beloved are already cooking, filling the freezer.
What with all this she finds she has very little to say.
On the other hand there are the chicken. Damien- Daphne is very definitely all Damien. He has been seen treading Daisy (Granny thinks 'treading' is the word.) He and Daisy are a nice monogamous couple. "Just like us," says Beloved looking at Granny. Damian on the other hand may not think it quite so nice. On the days he and Daisy are let out, free-ranging, he has been observed to hang around the other run, eying, covetously, the plebian brown chickens inside. "Just like all men,'" says Mr Handsome from Blackburn. Those hens however are in the domain of the white cock, Colin, who is unlikely to appreciate the competition. Since Granny and Beloved are not in the business of setting up cockfights, monogamous Damien-Daphne will have to stay. Being a handsome fellow avails him nothing whatever. Poor fellow.
There is as yet no donkey. Nor as yet a completed donkey stable. Mr Handsome who has been in a funny mood lately took umbrage at a mild comment made by Granny on Thursday - 'Mind the flowers,' she said, 'when you drive the truck across the land,' - replied, 'Don't be soft,' took off and hasn't been since.
(Daisy by the way is a good chicken. She lays an egg a day, all of them fertilised. By Easter, with any luck, there will be chicks.)